There must be something in that Baltimore water, because it seems as though talent is rampant amongst its residents.
In March, Animal Collective started off their 2022 tour in support of their new album Time Skiffs. After some delays due to COVID-19, Animal Collective finally made it to The Warfield in San Francisco on 08/10/2022.
To open the show, and to promote their new EP Construction, Tomato Flower delivered a set that seemed to have put the audience in a trance. Observing the crowd around me, I noticed everyone swaying along to the melodies of their songs. What really drew me into their performance though were the beautiful harmonies created by Jamison Murphy (vocals, guitar) and Austyn Wohlers (vocals, guitar, keyboard. To me, it was a complimentary blend of a delicate, yet powerful soprano and an unabashed tenor, which sonically created something that reminded me of a good daydream. What also caught my attention was seeing how Mike Alfieri (drums) and Ruby Mars (bass) appeared to get lost in the act of playing their respective instruments. It seemed as though they both played without thought and fully immersed themselves in the music they were creating, in which I really got a feel for their love of music. Seeing people doing what they genuinely enjoy doing is always a happy sight to see.
With the good vibes from Tomato Flower’s set still lingering in the atmosphere, Animal Collective came on with their own entrancing sounds. Composed of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deakin, the members of Animal Collective individually, and collectively, put their musical talents on display by employing a wide range of instruments to produce their intended sounds for each song. If I could describe their set in one word, it would be cohesive. I was amazed at their stamina, as Animal Collective would continuously play songs from their repertoire with little interruption. Each song they played seamlessly transitioned into the next. It was a captivating experience musically, as you never knew what to expect, but the curiosity sans apprehension that came with the moment kept you wanting to hear more. It is hard to pick a highlight from their show, as everything from start to finish was just simply, as the cool kids say, on point. My only critique lies within myself, as the place I chose to stand in general admission did not allow for optimal viewing of the entire show. Their set was supplemented with a series of graphics that seemed to correspond with the relaxed tempo of their songs. Since I was standing somewhere off to the side, I only got to see part of what was a bigger picture. If I were to see Animal Collective in concert again, I would make sure to watch from a more central position in order to fully stimulate each one of the senses. Nonetheless, Animal Collective put on a great show with transcendent sounds, moving the crowd through a canorous journey. I loved the simplicity of the stage design, as it really allowed for more focus on their ethereal instrumentations.
Unlike other shows I’ve been to where the unspoken dress code was to be tastefully pretentious and gaudy, the vibes that were felt at this show were ones that were more laid-back and casual. It was refreshing to attend a concert where most of the attendees were wearing a simple combination of jeans and a t-shirt, which added greatly to the relaxed aura of the evening. Throughout the show, I just kept thinking about how perfect this setting would be for a person who had an overworked morning and is in need of a relaxing activity to unwind. No thoughts, just live music and vibes.
If you’re ever going to find yourself in possession of tickets for a show at The Warfield, I definitely would suggest taking the BART if you can. The venue is conveniently located between the Powell Street and Civic Center stations, which makes the commute a breeze. I did drive to the show, but parking can sometimes be quite the extortionate activity. Don’t follow my example – choose the eco-friendly route!
Make sure to stay tuned in to 90.5 FM KSJS and keep up with us @KSJSFM on all social media platforms for your chance at participating in ticket giveaways for concerts around the Bay Area.
P.S. – Shoutout to the guy standing in the pit, who just so happened to be standing in an area where the lights seemed to be programmed in favor of highlighting him. They were the tallest in the area, they were gesticulating to their heart’s content, and overall appeared to be having the time of their life. Here’s to the love of live music!
Written By Joseph Edwards